“There’s such a vogue for fancy names nowadays [1890s]. All your Cuthberts and Wilfreds and Percivals. Perhaps I am merely being perverse, but I feel a desire for something absolutely plain for him. I imagine him in a few years’ time when he’s a sturdy boy running about, and I can’t imagine myself calling out ‘Clarence!’ or ‘Algernon!’ or ‘Phineas!’ . . . . Jack. That’s a nice, plain, manly name.”

(Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, The Homecoming, 2001)


“With a million names to choose from, these ruddy creatures called one ruddy son Wilbert and the other ruddy son Wilfred and both these ruddy sons are known as Willie. Just going out of their way to mislead the innocent bystander. You’d think people would have more consideration.”

(P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, 1960)